Los Angeles High School of the Arts

We need better change for better minds

As a student in high school I have noticed that many of my classmates are dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. When students are dealing with problems like these they are recommended to a counselor or a therapist who works at school or outside of school to help them out, but is that really going to help a student forget their problems?

Does therapy actually help with the issues students have? Some students may say yes or some may say no. Some students claim to be tired of relying on people to help them. Even if therapists have the intention of helping students they claim that no one can really eliminate the pain or stress they feel on a daily basis. Other students have a completely different mindset and believe it doesn’t help at all. Students have the issue that their problems aren’t taken seriously or never taken into depth. Students are just tired of hearing the same thing over and over again, eventually they lose hope.

Agree or disagree, students have to talk about their most vulnerable moments to someone they may not be comfortable with. Students are sent to a therapist or counselor and are put in the position that they have to answer questions about how they feel or have to talk about what they feel is wrong with them. Students that feel helpless think that they are forced to receive help. Teenagers often have a very hard time opening up; they may be hesitant or some may be open to hearing different opinions. There should be a new way all students feel comfortable to approach a school counselor.  Some students feel like the help is not genuine and that should be a quality all counselors must have. How are students supposed to open to someone who they feel awkward with.

At the same time for teens to receive the help, they need to open up. Most likely they won’t open up to someone who they don’t know as much. Trust is very important to the relationship between a teenager and a therapist. When there is a connection between two people, empathy but not pity is very important for them to open up. Connection will make it easier to open up and easier for the listener to understand. At the same time, students feel like they are receiving pity talk. It isn’t a safe environment if therapists are only saying positive things to help the students feel better and lie about it just to get out of an uncomfortable situation. It has to be a two-way conversation with comfortable acceptance with whatever the students is saying. Depression isn’t just sadness and it varies in different people. These people feel the same but have different experiences and all agree that the way mental issues in teens is approached isn’t effective.

At the same time, teenagers are extremely hard to get to open up, but is opening up and discussing our problems really a solution? It is helping to have a supportive friend around but really the pain is still there. The support and environment they are in isn’t working. No pain, no therapist, no treatment is making a difference in many lives and that is why we need change.